memories of Fantasy Farm was as a worker the year I turned 15. Growing
up the small community of Monroe, working at Fantasy Farm was
then life altering experience. I met kids my age from other schools,
watched people and their families from other countries looking in
amazement at rides, animals, and a culture I had taken for granted
since I was a small child.
My family would get together once or twice each summer, meeting under
the large picnic areas. All of my cousins 17 would be there, and we
would spend the day riding rides, eating snow cones and corndogs.
When I was 15 my mother told me that I was not happy with the clothes
she bought me I should get a job so I could buy my own. That is
exactly what I did. Making $1.25 per hour, you had to purchase you own
uniform. Hot polyester shorts and a white shirt. My first paycheck
after paying for that uniform totaled less then $15.00 and I had
worked just under forty hours that week. Realizing that you didn't
receive all of the hourly wage because there was taxes that had to be
taken out first.
I loaded parents precious cargo, their children, onto the Ferris
wheel, always having to explain that you couldn't ride right behind
your son or daughter because the wheel had to be weighted evenly. And
those scary times that the wheel started running backwards because I
had loaded or unloaded the wrong car first. Watching the small
children go around and around in the small boats, turning the steering
wheel and sticking their had down in the water. The small train with
the parents hanging onto their children so they wouldn't fall off.
Seeing the little boys talk their parents into letting them rent a
fishing pole to go down to the cement pond to fish knowing there was
nothing there. The petting zoo that for $.25 you got a hand full of
corn to feed the farm animals.
By the time the summer was over I had the darkest tan, sun bleached
hair, new friends I would have never met, and a look at a world I had
never seen before. I can still see Edgar in his plaid shirt tucked
into his worn-out work pants bent over from old age with his rubber
boots taking his stroll through the park. And Nettie in her not new
dress and wide brim sun hat coming out of the office each morning. I
can also remember my first lesson in being an employee and my first
step into adulthood. Kandi Fritz